Russian MoD shows capture of Ukrainian airfield (VIDEO)
Live-action footage from a Ukrainian airfield was released by the Russian Ministry of Defense on Saturday. The video, which incorporates footage from soldiers’ body cams, shows troops arriving at the location by helicopter and then disembarking, before seizing the area.
In the footage, soldiers secure various buildings across the facility, along with an adjacent military installation. It also includes footage of Russian Ka-52 attack helicopters hitting ground targets nearby.
While the Defense Ministry did not specify where or when the footage was shot, it appears to show the assault on Antonov International Airport, near the town of Hostomel, to the north of Kiev, which occurred in the early days of the operation.
Unverified footage circulating online seemingly showed that the Russian military had lost several helicopters during the attack. Despite repeated claims by senior Ukrainian officials that the Russian airborne division had been completely destroyed during the landing or shortly after it, in reality, it had managed to hold out and was ultimately reached by ground forces
Fighting at the airport resulted in the destruction of the world’s largest aircraft, the Antonov An-225 Mriya, which was stationed there. Developed in the late 1980s, the Soviet-built plane was inherited by Ukraine and used for large-scale cargo deliveries. It remains unclear whether it was destroyed during the initial assault on the airfield or during Kiev’s attempts to dislodge Russian airborne troops from the facility.
Moscow launched a large-scale assault against its neighbor in late February, following a seven-year standoff over Ukraine’s failure to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements, and Russia’s eventual recognition of the Donbass republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. The German- and French-brokered protocols had been designed to regularize the status of those regions within the Ukrainian state and end the years-long conflict in the country’s east.
Russia has now demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join the US-led NATO military bloc. Kiev insists the Russian offensive was completely unprovoked and has denied claims it was planning to retake the two republics by force.